An apparatus and method is disclosed for keeping interior walls of a reaction vessel free of undesirable deposits of solid materials in gas-to-solid reactions. The apparatus includes a movable cleaning head which is configured to be substantially complementary to the interior contour of the walls of the reaction vessel. The head ejects a stream of gas with a relatively high velocity into a narrow space between the head and the walls. The head is moved substantially continuously to at least intermittently blow the stream of gas to substantially the entire surface of the walls wherein undesirable solid deposition is likely to occur. The disclosed apparatus and process is particularly useful for keeping the walls of a free-space silane-gas-to-solid-silicon reactor free of undesirable silicon deposits.